‘I just lived my dream, man’: Meet Ben ‘Big Tuna’ Parrish, the unlikeliest winner of Bellator 266

·2 min read

SAN JOSE, Calif. – As cliche as it sounds, Ben Parrish was living the dream Saturday night.

To understand why, you’d have to hear the man they call “Big Tuna” explain after his stunning 38-second knockout of rising star Christian Edwards as a 6-to-1 underdog at Bellator 266. Parrish, a native Tennessean who works for an industrial supply company, made his Bellator debut after nearly 10 years in the fight game.

When he got on the microphone during his post-fight news conference at SAP Center, Parrish had a lot to get off his chest. The father of a 6-year-old daughter, he talked about people making fun of him all the time, breaking his leg in 2019, losing relationships, friendships and jobs while pursuing MMA, and feeling like this opportunity to fight on a big stage might never come after two previous bookings with Edwards fell off.

But Parrish (5-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) got his opportunity, and he certainly made the most of it, and now there’s the possibility of making MMA full time.

“If I can do this, anybody can do this,” said Parrish, who mentioned that he’s the son of a mobster. “Anybody watching at home, if people try to make out like you can never hang doing this, for 10 years I’ve been hearing the same exact conversations, the same exact talks. All you gotta do is get up, walk the walk and bite down on your mouth guard. Nobody’s gonna be mad at you for losing. …

“I just lived my dream, man. What are you guys doing at home if you’re not trying to live your dream? The only thing left for me to do is win a world title. That’d be the only thing I want to do. Anything else after this means decimals to the right side of the comma.”

There might be plenty of fish in the sea, but on this night, there was only one “Big Tuna.”

Check out Parrish’s full post-fight interview in the video above.